Thursday, January 20, 2011


I am a slow runner, this is the box I have put myself in.  This box is better than the ‘you can’t do that’ box I was put in years ago.  This box has lots of room and is comfortable.  I look at other people in their boxes that are a bit smaller and sleeker but I tell myself that I won’t fit in the smaller, faster box.  I will feel pressure in that box.  But the women in those boxes aren’t that different from me.  Some are shorter, thinner which makes their box a tiny bit easier to live in but there are also women who are taller and weigh more than I do getting along just fine in smaller boxes.
For years I was told I couldn’t do this.  Then I started doing it.  I told myself I could, my husband told me I could and I did it, I really did.  But what now?  I have a triathlon coach with the best disposition known to man.  When I was training for my Half Ironman he doubted me.  He didn’t doubt me as a person but with my injuries and lack of run training he wanted me to wait, he didn’t want me to hurt myself.  I’m not a waiting kind of girl.  I used that doubt on many a long bike ride and on some of my very hot runs.  I’ll show him! 
My coach writes up my workouts.  In life I am not a good little sheep, I do not do as I am told.  When it comes to triathlon and my coach I am a pretty good sheep.  He writes it, I do it.  I don’t usually look at my workouts before I have to, I guess I like the surprise and spontaneity of looking and then doing.  The other day I looked at a run workout and the target speed wasn’t anything I had ever done for more than a few minutes.  My first feeling was confusion then I got angry.  WHY would he tell me to do something I CAN’T do?  As if this is personal.  I sent him an e-mail and a text demanding an explanation.  This is where his perfect coach disposition comes out.  He simply told me to do what I can and then even told me to make it a moderate run. 
I went for my run and found myself pushing for the original numbers I thought unattainable.  I realized during this run I had gone from ‘you can’t do this’ to ‘you can do this’ to ‘I expect you to do this.’  I wasn’t raised with much in the way of expectations so this is somewhat new to me.  I think my coach is sending me an eviction notice from my big comfy slow box.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Sunrise Swim

On days like today when I really don’t want to get in the pool I think of this picture.  Those tiny specs off in the distance are boats that have just dropped some slightly unbalanced triathletes a mile off shore to swim to the ramp you see at the bottom of the picture.

I keep reminding myself that I thought this was a fun swim last year, challenging but fun.
All the women were on the same boat and while we were shivering and chatting you could feel the anticipation.  I’d be willing to say everyone was a bit anxious and some were downright terrified.

We were told to get off the boat before the wave ahead of us had even been given the gun.  We jumped off and started towards the buoys when the wave of red caps ahead of us was given their start.  We got to the buoys we were supposed to start at and tread water for 5 minutes when the gun went off!  The water was a bit choppy from a Friday evening/Saturday morning storm and the current was pretty strong left to right.  Once we took off there was nothing in the water we could see to sight off.  I was glad I had picked out the blue and white lighthouse while still on the boat.

I remember having to turn further to breathe because of waves so I was able to see the sky and thought ‘today is a great day to be a triathlete’! 
58 days and counting!!!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011


Elevation is hard to come by here in supa-flat Houston.  I can feel my HR climb when I use the little ramp from the street to the sidewalk, that tells you how much I love FLAT.  I was hopping (only one good foot) when I found out the run for my Half Ironman had become more flat than the run in previous years.

We have a great race director and series of races here in Houston OnUrMark puts on a helluva race!  My 2010 season started with their Gateway to the Bay Olympic distance where they took us a mile into the gulf and we reluctantly jumped off a boat only to swim back to shore.  This little dip was followed by a challenging bike ride where the race director, felt compelled to challenge us with man made elevation, going over the Kemah Bridge FOUR times!  The run that followed was beautiful and fun with the locals hanging out in their lawns cheering us on. 

Imagine my dismay when I recently learned we would be RUNNING over said bridge, TWICE!  My knees started crying and my hips locked up in an effort to boycott my 2011 tri plans.  Apparently now the bike is nice and flat but the run not so much.  The thing is I like a hilly bike.  When you ride your bike on a hill you get to enjoy the Weeeeee all the way down.  When you run up the hill you have to first try not to die by cardiac arrest on your way up and going down you're trying not to die via asphalt.  As much as I don't look forward to the ascent it's the descent that is scaring the poo out of me!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Hiatus is over

After a much too long post Half Ironman hiatus I jumped back into training this week.  Yesterday I had a short 25 minute run on the calendar.  I waited until later in the day and it was getting a little dark around 5:30pm so I made the decision to run in my neighborhood to keep it safe.

The beginning of the run felt good though I knew I was going too fast to hold the pace very long.  Then out of the corner of my left eye I see dog running at me.  It’s a pit bull and he is not in the mood to play.  I just started yelling at him STOP!  He kept barking and lunging at me, frozen in the street.  I screamed STOP and HELP ME over and over hoping the owners would come out, nobody, nothing.  I took a few steps and he followed barking, started walking faster and didn’t hear hoping he went back to his yard.  Then I heard him charging and barking until I could feel his breath on the back of my legs.   My hope was at some point I would be far enough from his home and he would let me go.  He did.  I continued to walk fast.  I had to circle the neighborhood and come back onto his street to get home but I was further down.  I kept looking behind me but thankfully didn’t see him again.  A few minutes later I started running again and ran home as fast as I could.

Once in the door I fell apart.  Ken asked me what was going on and when I told him he told me to get in the car.  We drove to their house, he knocked on the door.  At first they were not going to come to do the door, they have a glass front door and they could see him.  Finally they answered.  The husband was rude and curt.  Fortunately the wife was more understanding and apologetic.  Obviously the dog was put away at this point.  It makes me sad that I cannot run safely in my own small subdivision.  I wish dog owners were more responsible.